The champ gets tough love from his mama!
Bells. What do we do with her? What do we do with an uninspiring, yet historically important, artifact? Should it be downgraded to a QS thing? Rolled out occasionally for heritage heats? Done away with entirely? What? I remember many years ago when Mundaka was dropped from the tour. It was an impossible tragedy to my younger mind. The stops on the “dream tour” seemed dictated to Brodie Carr from God himself. And of course she was a fickle, fickle wave but she was also stunningly picturesque and had nice traditions, like tossing the winner into the drink.
But just like that, overnight, she was gone. Of course no one except the Basques really miss. And it would be the same, I imagine, if Bells was let out to pasture. Speaking of the past, have you seen the WSL t-shirts? They read: World Surf League. Since 1976. Is that legal to claim? Can anyone make up a start date? Yeah? BeachGrit. Since 408 BC. Is that ok?
And also, Kelly Slater. Our handsome champion. His face is getting a little bit wider, as happens in age, but it really becomes him, I think. He got dumped by Michel Bourez yesterday and admitted to ESPN that he is in a “year long slump.”
When asked if it was time to hang up the jersey (buy here!), he replied, “I’ve been thinking about that for 15 years. I will say even my mum texted me and said ‘maybe you should think about it’. She goes ‘but then again, I said that to you before and you came back and won the world title that year’.”
Watching the man surf, it doesn’t necessarily seem the skill level has dropped precipitously, it just looks like he is on weird boards and just plain doesn’t really care. Which begs the question, why do it? But maybe it really begs the question why not do it? Many retiring pros talk about the grind of life on tour but maybe it isn’t a grind for Kelly. He has been to all the stops so many times he may well have houses, cute little wives and broods of small children in each. Maybe he can’t imagine life any other way.
If you were the champ and had lived your entire adult life around the world would you want to stop? Where would you lay your head, at the end? And, assuming Kelly has a cute wife at each stop, which do you think is his favorite? The blonde and impossibly tan Gold Coast girl? The red head from Torquay? The hearty Sheila from West Oz? The dusky heartthrob from Ipanema? Etc.?